BEIJING (CHN): The 2010 IAAF Race Walking Challenge Final will be staged this year in Beijing in familiar surroundings from the 2008 Olympics. Writes IAAF. In the men’s race Chinese walkers are the favourites too, both for winning the final competition and in the total points of the 2010 Challenge as well. Twenty two-year-old Chu Yafei leads the standings with 40 points and has a good chance to clinch his win in Beijing. Chu has raced three times over the 20km distance this season winning the La Coruńa meeting with a 1:21:11 season’s best and also placed second at the World Cup in Chihuahua completing a Chinese 1-2 behind winner Wang Hao. Matej Toth of Slovak Republic is the next best in total points with 30 followed closely behind Wang Hao and Colombian Luis López, who both have 28 points. Toth said for Slovak media he feels good shape and wants to attack the podium. Another big name looking for a win in this competition is Australian double olympic medalist Jared Tallent. In the women race Portuguese Vera Santos almost has the total IAAF Race Walking Challenge win in her bag already. With the Russian walking stars absent from this competition, the seasoned 28-year-old Santos will be looking to score the biggest win of her career. German Melanie Seeger is lurking 10 points behind leading Santos (40p) and still has a chance to challenge for the total points win. Another Portuguese Inęs Henriques and Chinese Li Yanfei are probably too far away in points having scored 25 and 23 points respectively, but of course could take the win in the 20km race here. Winners will get 30 000 USD each.
MOSCOW (RUS): Women 800 m European Champion Mariya Savinova informed she plans to pass the coming indoor season. „I never did that, I always competed indoors and outdoors even when I was a junior,“ she said. But also admitted that the coach could allow her for some indoor races, mainly Russian Winter meet. Savinova also added that the world indoor record 1:55.82 of Jolanda Ceplak might not be out of her reach. She also commented on oldest women world record the 1:53.28 of Czech Jarmila Kratochvilova since 1983. „I think it is possible to beat. You need hard work for that.“
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